By: Sharon Aron Baron
This article appeared in the Miami Herald back in May 18, 1984. Records were purchased through the Miami Herald archive service.
The following family was national news at the time. Here we have a couple that lived in Section Eight of the Woodlands, which at the time was an adults-only section. After several years they had a baby. The HOA and others were determined to follow the rules and make this family leave which eventually happened after two years of litigation.
Couple: Area Prefers Monkeys Over Children
LYNN DEMAREST Herald Staff Writer
The Seymour Kaplans have three cute little monkeys, one black spider simian named Jemima and two light-brown capuchins named Coco and Daisy.
Down the street, the Ronald Pomerantzes have one cute little human, a 10-month-old girl named Erika.
The pet monkeys may stay, but the young human must go, say the Woodlands Country Club Homeowners Association rules. Ronald Pomerantz finds that ironic.
“Why would they want to evict my little child and they
allow a 20-pound monkey?” asks Pomerantz.
Ronald and Bonnie Pomerantz bought a $70,000 home in the adults-only Tamarac community in October 1977 with expectations of remaining childless. Then Erika was born July 13 last year. Before the baby arrived, association officials congratulated the couple on the new arrival, then told them the baby couldn’t stay. When they moved in, the association argues, the Pomerantzes agreed to a 10-page package of deed restrictions that prohibits residents younger than 16.
A 40-year-old Boca Raton furniture dealer, Pomerantz sued to keep both his child and his home.
He argues that the deed restriction violates the equal- protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. The American Civil Liberties Union has joined his cause.
The attorneys are trading information, getting ready for a court battle.
The monkeys are “entertaining and amusing,” said J. Philip Landsman, the homeowners association attorney, but they will have no bearing on the legal outcome of the case.
“I think Mr. Pomerantz is trying to make a monkey of the court,” Landsman joked.
ACLU attorney Michael Masinter, who is representing the Pomerantzes, could not be reached for comment.
Kaplan, a retired diamond broker, keeps the creatures in a custom built, windowed building near his swimming pool and Jacuzzi.
“I sympathize with the Pomerantzes,” said Kaplan, “but I don’t know what the relationship is. It’s not a fair comparison.”
Pomerantz, who vows to continue his fight against the association’s board members, disagrees.
“Ask them if I build a little house to keep my daughter in if I can keep her.”